Tag Archives: hip hop

2010 in Review: 80,000 hits makes Roopa a total polar bear.

Dear Readers,

The start of the year is a perfect time for reflection and strategic planning.  The good folks over at WordPress put together a year end assessment of my blog, and since we’re in this together, I figure I’d share the sum up with you. First, here’s one of the ways I kicked off the year.  January 1, 2011, it’s a sunny winter day at Coney Island, my feet were still sore from the gray boots I cut up the dance floor with, and I’ve only slept a couple hours, but I did it anyway.  In this shot, I’d just swam in the Atlantic Ocean with hundreds of others, which makes me a proud Polar Bear, representing lovely for the ladies in those freezing waters.

The political poet masquerading as a total polar bear. (Photo by Sarah Partridge)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 80,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 107 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 279 posts. There were 125 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 87mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 21st with 1,824 views. The most popular post that day was love poems by roopstar.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com,, en.wordpress.com, search.conduit.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for love, love pictures, gabourey sidibe, music, and music notes.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


love poems by roopstar November 2009
7 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


film review: precious (by a survivor and for all my survivors) November 2009
1 comment


Gay Rappers: (so) What if Guru is gay? March 2010


what do kosovo and dead prez have in common? February 2008
1 comment


domestic/violence: why we care about chris brown and rihanna February 2009

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thanks taking, thanks for taking the time to read me…thanksgiving injections for you to get high on for the holy dayz. .

it was the best of times

we know yall like us girls

supersonic was the whirls

you might even try it

hit it baby dee

it was the worst of times

it was america’s thanksgiving


all the bloodshed of then

in the here and now

even if you restrict our travel

we will not forget our connection

because that would be conceding

but i am still

sitting bull

and the lord know i got this wounded knee

yes the lords

know she

soft as hard can be

it was the best of times

it was the worst of times

tonight i go to the club

in swagger regalia

and shed into the rising

and feathered wings

currently kissing my back

injections of love just in time for thanksgiving

the kind of poems that help you focus on

saying thank you

thank you

-your writer friend, roopa singh

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hip hop in the classroom: featuring the indie mc’s and workshop facilitators, amo1 and l.i.f.e. long

dear readers,

be real, when you hear the term indie musicians, you generally don’t think about independent hip hop artists. but the independent hip hop scene is still shining and two of it’s brightest stars, amo1 and l.i.f.e. long, recently facilitated a workshop with the hip hop politics students at pace university. check this short film to taste their workshop live. here, the underground mc’s comment on cross-genre influence and the role of the underground in keeping hip hop outside of a bubble.

as workshop facilitators, musicians amo1 and l.i.f.e. long delivered a high energy performance of their new cut, “life lessons”; fielded hard hitting questions on sexism in lyrics; led a writing session framed as a mock studio session wherein the students all wrote 8 bars or a verse; and created a final cypher space in which we all got down with a flow. both amo1 and l.i.f.e. long have sky high credentials on the hip hop landscape, as their bio’s clearly state (link above). but one of the beauty’s of being independent is their ability to control how they connect with their audience.

to give you a sense of the diversity of sounds within independent hip hop, let’s take a deeper look at these mc’s. l.i.f.e. long’s deceptively chill flow is trump tight with spiritual lessons, such as the haunting urge for patience in the title track of his ep, “the waiting game.” amo’s sound is one of bell like clarity, his sharp storytelling rivals slick rick’s in cuts like, “it’s brooklyn,” and his profanity belies a reservoir of urban warrior sanity. both independent mc’s feature lushly mixed tracks, piping in public enemy style walls of sound, ripe with archival samples from television and cinema screens and full throated support from fellow mc’s.

the workshop with these independent musicians lifted wings and flew. their nimble facilitation reminded me of how important it is that we all take part in supporting the underground in finding and maintaining new audiences. and how, even in small ways, we as teachers can keep hip hop alive in academia through lifting the genre up off the two dimensional page into three dimensional performance.

hip hop was born independent, shaking off south bronx policies of benign neglect, rebirthing as stars from dirt falling through the cracks and still shining, no institutional or corporate affiliation yet still writing, pockets stuffed with ink like silver lining. fast forward and hip hop is now a billion dollar industry, toeing a dicey line in the global market, a line between erasing borders and creating, even policing, them. but the underground lives, a striking feat, particularly for the war torn independent hip hop landscape of new york city. nyc is ground zero for the capitalization of hip hop, that is, glittering skyscrapers of profit for a few and gaping craters of broken contracts and undelivered promises for most. but these are rappers whose parents danced to james brown on whole and on the break, these are musicians whose younger years were steeped in sepia tones of afrika bambaataa rocking at the roller rink, and biggie rapping on the corner. these are rappers whose freestyling crews of the early 90’s ripped new lyrical galaxies into the english language.

it could be argued that the independent hip hop scene is more creative, more alive in smaller american cities, and still more vibrant outside of the u.s.a. i would support that contention, but i also support independent hip hop artists right here in nyc. where it all began, and where it still is.

stay tuned,

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